Emma van der Leest
''We have to reinvent materials instead of products.''
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Biodesigner, researcher and lecturer specialized in material design and circular economy
Emma van der Leest is a biodesigner, researcher and lecturer specialized in material design and circular economy. She is also the founder of BlueCity Lab in Rotterdam, a bio-circular playground for ‘bioneers.’
Next Nature Academy works with Emma's projects in its curricula, such as 'The Microbial Microbial Vending Machine'. In collaborating with Next Nature projects such as HUBOT, Nano Supermarket, Rayfish, WiFi Angels she helps us think about important questions for the future. How do we build architecture, fashion, products and food using advanced biotechnology, so that we can move away from factory farming, intensive agriculture and fossil resources?
Emma van der Leest graduated with a bachelor’s degree in product design (2015 with honors) from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Throughout the years Emma has worked with on a number of bio fabricated materials that are exhibited worldwide. Emma is connected to a number of educational positions at WdKA, Master Institute of Visual Cultures, Design Academy and Central Saint Martins in London. She won the 2019 Bio Art & Design Award with the Fungkee Supercoating, a 100% natural coating derived from fungal strains. In 2022 she made her curational debut with the ‘Nature Loves Technology’ exhibition at the international horticultural exhibition at Floriade.
Emma van der Leest
Emma developed the Meat the Future project which is currently traveling the world.
Emma's work 'The Microbial Microbial Vending Machine' explores the invisible microlife around us, and the potential to grow different products and resources. What will be grown from cells in the future?
What new jobs are there in the future? As a biodesigner, Emma is a model for 'Biodesigner' on the HUBOT platform, which explores the future of work.
How do we make architecture, fashion, products and food using advanced biotechnology, so that we can move away from factory farming, intensive agriculture and fossil resources? Asking, what won’t be grown from cells in the future?